Wednesday, July 1, 2009
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
WINDER - Authorities hope a dragnet Monday took a significant bite out of Barrow County's burgeoning drug trade.
A barrage of local, state and federal law enforcement bagged 41 suspects in a widespread warrant sweep, the culmination of a six-month investigation of drug-trafficking networks.
In total, investigators seized $500,000 in illegal drugs and made more than 200 undercover drug purchases. The drugs in question ran the gamut between crack cocaine (67 total charges), heroin (3), cocaine (53), methamphetamine (35) and marijuana (89).
Barrow County Sheriff's Office spokesman Investigator Matt Guthas called the operation among the largest drug investigations in Barrow's history. Another 80 suspects had been arrested prior to Monday's crackdown, he said.
Guthas said the majority of Monday's arrestees were dealers, "or what we call 'sale cases.'"
Barrow authorities are still investigating cases on about 25 more pushers, Guthas said.
"As long as there is one drug dealer who sells poison on the street," Sheriff Jud Smith said in a prepared statement, "(we) will consider him a threat against the safety and health of Barrow County citizens."
Guthas said no particular incident or trend sparked the operation, but that the "ever-increasing presence of narcotics and related offenses warranted a strong response."